AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes  (Read 480186 times)

Revive 755

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4607
  • Last Login: November 19, 2022, 10:29:43 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1875 on: July 19, 2022, 10:54:41 PM »

Regarding I-270, mtantillo said the signage there predates the FHWA's adoption of "express" as a term for managed lanes, so that probably explains a lot. Certainly many of us in the DC area are accustomed to thinking of "express" and "local" in the sense used to refer to the trains on the New York subway (e.g., when I go to New York I take the 2/3 express from Penn Station because it's two stops to my destination versus nine stops if I take the 1 local). I-270 uses the terminology in something similar to that sense—all exits are from the local lanes. I tend to agree with vdeane that most of us were accustomed of thinking of "express lanes" in that context and the example cited in Toronto is consistent with that.

I think I missed something:  When did FHWA officially adopt "express" for only managed lanes?

Is there a new term FHWA want used for current "express" lanes that are not managed?  Other examples I can think of that are signed using express:

* I-80 in Council Bluffs, Iowa
* I-90/I-90/Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago
* I-70 and I-44 in St. Louis
Logged

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4033
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 52
  • Last Login: Today at 03:16:46 PM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1876 on: July 20, 2022, 06:35:46 AM »

....

I-95/495 would be improved if they added Baltimore underneath the Alexandria on the Local BGS approaching the split.

I agree with that and I suggested it to a couple of people at VDOT; they said they didn't want to suggest to long-distance traffic that they should add to the congestion in the "Local" lanes. Never mind that a perfectly valid way to reach Baltimore is to use said local lanes to I-295 if you want to use the BW Parkway route (and some mapping software will sometimes suggest just that due to the shorter distance, though there are plenty of reasons not to go that way if you know the roads).

Regarding I-270, mtantillo said the signage there predates the FHWA's adoption of "express" as a term for managed lanes, so that probably explains a lot. Certainly many of us in the DC area are accustomed to thinking of "express" and "local" in the sense used to refer to the trains on the New York subway (e.g., when I go to New York I take the 2/3 express from Penn Station because it's two stops to my destination versus nine stops if I take the 1 local). I-270 uses the terminology in something similar to that sense—all exits are from the local lanes. I tend to agree with vdeane that most of us were accustomed of thinking of "express lanes" in that context and the example cited in Toronto is consistent with that.

A different solution entirely would be to have the split be on I-95 before the Springfield Interchange.  This can be done with little construction on the beltway itself beyond jersey walls and a ramp would need to be constructed here to connect I-395 to the outer loop ramp from WB Franconia Rd.  The idea would then be to sign I-95 as it is now which would be for Annapolis and Baltimore while the new ramp from 95/395 would be signed as I-495 Van Dorn St and Alexandria.  Thus I-95 and I-495 would be separate on the outer loop until reaching Maryland.  I-495 pull through BGSs on the Beltway can then list Baltimore so anyone who does end up there can know they don't need to figure out a plan B.
Logged

Dirt Roads

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2051
  • Location: Central North Carolina
  • Last Login: Today at 01:30:50 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1877 on: July 20, 2022, 10:52:14 AM »

Regarding I-270, mtantillo said the signage there predates the FHWA's adoption of "express" as a term for managed lanes, so that probably explains a lot. Certainly many of us in the DC area are accustomed to thinking of "express" and "local" in the sense used to refer to the trains on the New York subway (e.g., when I go to New York I take the 2/3 express from Penn Station because it's two stops to my destination versus nine stops if I take the 1 local). I-270 uses the terminology in something similar to that sense—all exits are from the local lanes. I tend to agree with vdeane that most of us were accustomed of thinking of "express lanes" in that context and the example cited in Toronto is consistent with that.

I think I missed something:  When did FHWA officially adopt "express" for only managed lanes?

Is there a new term FHWA want used for current "express" lanes that are not managed?  Other examples I can think of that are signed using express:

* I-80 in Council Bluffs, Iowa
* I-90/I-90/Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago
* I-70 and I-44 in St. Louis

You didn't miss anything, nor did 1995Hoo imply that the FHWA uses a term other than "Express Lane" for the NJTP version of "Through Lane" versus "Local Lane" (in some states they still use the term "Thru Lane").  But FHWA did accept (and acknowledge) many states use of the term "Express Lane" for managed lanes, and the MUTCD incorporated "Express Lanes End" signs to deal with related issues.  In fact, the R3-42 and R3-45 signs (Express Lane Ends) are officially listed as "Priced Managed Lane Ends" in the MUTCD.  But it is clear that FHWA has acknowledged that many states use the term "Express Lane" as a branding name for their managed lanes.

All that being said, there is no reason that R3-42 and R3-45 shouldn't be used for traditional "Thru Lanes".

<corrected the quotations>
« Last Edit: July 20, 2022, 09:51:43 PM by Dirt Roads »
Logged

jeffandnicole

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13642
  • Age: 47
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:43 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1878 on: July 20, 2022, 12:33:14 PM »

....

I-95/495 would be improved if they added Baltimore underneath the Alexandria on the Local BGS approaching the split.

I agree with that and I suggested it to a couple of people at VDOT; they said they didn't want to suggest to long-distance traffic that they should add to the congestion in the "Local" lanes. Never mind that a perfectly valid way to reach Baltimore is to use said local lanes to I-295 if you want to use the BW Parkway route (and some mapping software will sometimes suggest just that due to the shorter distance, though there are plenty of reasons not to go that way if you know the roads).

Regarding I-270, mtantillo said the signage there predates the FHWA's adoption of "express" as a term for managed lanes, so that probably explains a lot. Certainly many of us in the DC area are accustomed to thinking of "express" and "local" in the sense used to refer to the trains on the New York subway (e.g., when I go to New York I take the 2/3 express from Penn Station because it's two stops to my destination versus nine stops if I take the 1 local). I-270 uses the terminology in something similar to that sense—all exits are from the local lanes. I tend to agree with vdeane that most of us were accustomed of thinking of "express lanes" in that context and the example cited in Toronto is consistent with that.

I won't say I've been there very often, but the times I have driven thru the area I find the express lanes more congested than the local lanes.
Logged

mrsman

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3804
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Silver Spring, MD
  • Last Login: Today at 03:27:39 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1879 on: July 31, 2022, 05:43:33 PM »

Is it feasible to go 3 hot lanes with a zipper 2 with rush, one contraflow similar to what is done on 15 in San Diego
That’s sort of what the shoulder proposal would be, there would be a HO/T shoulder in each direction that would open up in the off peak direction while the existing reversible would handle the peak direction.

That is what is going to be implemented over the next few years on I-64 in Norfolk where the existing reversible lanes are, and what I believe is proposed for I-95.

The problem with I-95 is that peak directions seem to be both ways especially on busy weekends, that warrants a full 2+2 HO/T buildout.

I completely agree.  The drive between the Beltway down to almost Richmond seems to be horrendous at all times.  Both directions need more capacity, and this can only be readily achieved with a 2-way toll lane setup.  There really aren't any alternatives for travel if you are traveling in the reverse peak direction - VRE service seems to be limited to forward direction in the commute direction to DC. 

3 GP + 2 Toll lanes in each direction would handle the demand along this very busy stretch of highway.  3 GP alone cannot at any time other than 1-5 a.m.
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14822
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:15 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1880 on: August 01, 2022, 07:37:19 AM »

You’re correct about VRE—it is a peak-direction service and it also runs only on weekdays (but not federal holidays).
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

davewiecking

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 640
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Bethesda, MD
  • Last Login: Today at 06:22:47 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1881 on: August 01, 2022, 08:02:23 AM »

Currently, yes. Increasing VRE service is the main reason for the additional train bridge over the Potomac, and also the extra track about to be added along this corridor.
Logged

davewiecking

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 640
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Bethesda, MD
  • Last Login: Today at 06:22:47 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1882 on: August 01, 2022, 08:24:25 AM »

And speaking of the HOT lanes, I was looking at the NEXT plans, and noticed that this project does not include the GW Pkwy interchange, but does subsume the southbound CD lanes connecting these ramps and the Georgetown Pike (VA-193) interchange. This makes sense, because there’s no telling what or when MD will do something with the ALMB over the Potomac. Transurban started removing half of the VA-193 bridge last week.
Logged

mrsman

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3804
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Silver Spring, MD
  • Last Login: Today at 03:27:39 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1883 on: August 04, 2022, 08:16:30 PM »

And speaking of the HOT lanes, I was looking at the NEXT plans, and noticed that this project does not include the GW Pkwy interchange, but does subsume the southbound CD lanes connecting these ramps and the Georgetown Pike (VA-193) interchange. This makes sense, because there’s no telling what or when MD will do something with the ALMB over the Potomac. Transurban started removing half of the VA-193 bridge last week.

VA is moving ahead and MD is falling behind.  The new MD governonr to be elected this coming November could dicatate a lot of transport policy.  If the Democrat wins, I don't expect any HOT lane expansion into MD, even between 270/495 and the bridge.

There is probably no appetite for the massive land takings necessary for HOT lanes to extend along 495 to College Park, but most of the land necessary to expand lanes from the bridge to 270/Shady Grove is within the existing highway right of way.  It just needs some political will.  Especially given that other bridges over the Potomac are not happening, so the only relief would be HOT lanes on the bridge.
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14822
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 06:16:15 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1884 on: August 26, 2022, 10:36:13 AM »

On the 11:00 news last night, Channel 4 reported that the I-395 HO/T lane ramp on the south side of the Seminary Road interchange (the high-level ramp constructed a few years ago), which is now restricted to HOV-3 traffic only at all times, will open to all traffic after Labor Day. They said non-HOV traffic will pay a toll. It wasn't clear from the report whether the toll will be a separate toll for that particular ramp or whether the ramp will just get the standard HO/T rules applicable to the rest of the reversible roadway. Either way, it makes eminent sense to make that change.
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

AlexandriaVA

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1323
  • Location: Virginia
  • Last Login: October 03, 2022, 08:46:28 AM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1885 on: August 26, 2022, 03:24:24 PM »

Always thought that was an odd exception to the HOT corridor. I also doubt that the "HOV-3 only" rule was ever enforced.

My unsubstantiated guess is that it was a bureaucratic vestige of the fact that the ramp was built with federal funds, relating to the opening of the Mark Center, and that perhaps the funding came with strings attached (specifically, HOV-3 only). The ramp was built before 395 was converted to HOT.
Logged

froggie

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 12504
  • Location: Greensboro, VT
  • Last Login: November 30, 2022, 07:55:03 PM
    • Froggie's Place
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1886 on: August 26, 2022, 03:28:14 PM »

IIRC, it was a requirement of the Transportation Management Plan for Mark Center.  Not sure what's changed to where this is now going to be allowed.
Logged

AlexandriaVA

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1323
  • Location: Virginia
  • Last Login: October 03, 2022, 08:46:28 AM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1887 on: August 26, 2022, 03:28:52 PM »

On second thought, an even better possibility relates to the fact that Alexandria was very concerned about the traffic impact of the opening of the Mark Center on local streets in the West End (e.g. Seminary, Beauregard, etc). Many jobs were moved from the Pentagon, which has the slug and transit commute options, to the massive building at Seminary and 395.

The retention of the HOV-3 only rule, even after the corridor was converted to HOT, may have been in order to discourage single-car commuting to the Mark Center.
Logged

AlexandriaVA

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1323
  • Location: Virginia
  • Last Login: October 03, 2022, 08:46:28 AM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1888 on: August 26, 2022, 03:30:30 PM »

IIRC, it was a requirement of the Transportation Management Plan for Mark Center.  Not sure what's changed to where this is now going to be allowed.

Funny that you posted it right as I made my follow up comment.

I don't think the Mark Center traffic ever materialized in a way that they envisioned it. And that was pre-COVID. Nowadays, who knows. I know that Mark Center was supposed to take on most of the WHS jobs, many of which I think are inherently telework-enabled.
Logged

74/171FAN

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 3316
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Harrisburg, PA
  • Last Login: Today at 06:27:26 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1889 on: November 23, 2022, 10:08:19 PM »

So probably the oddest thing about the new set-up on I-95 SB at the Rappahannock River was that it was actually viable for me to take I-95 SB from Fredericksburg to Richmond tonight.  One year ago I would have headed straight to the US 301/VA 2 corridor without much of a debate.
Logged
I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

Dirt Roads

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2051
  • Location: Central North Carolina
  • Last Login: Today at 01:30:50 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1890 on: November 24, 2022, 11:30:51 AM »

So probably the oddest thing about the new set-up on I-95 SB at the Rappahannock River was that it was actually viable for me to take I-95 SB from Fredericksburg to Richmond tonight.  One year ago I would have headed straight to the US 301/VA 2 corridor without much of a debate.

Was that problem (a year ago) a normal rush hour issue, or a Thanksgiving holiday traffic issue?  It's now been 8 years since I had to fight that mess, but when I would brave taking I-95 it seemed like traffic was mostly free-flow (albeit intense) south of the Falmouth exit (even during holiday traffic).  Whenever I was tired, I always took US-29 or US-522 (and backroads to US-360) the whole way.
Logged

D-Dey65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3255
  • Age: 57
  • Last Login: November 30, 2022, 09:08:52 PM
    • I-95; Still not finished in Boston, Central New Jersey, or Washington, D.C.
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1891 on: November 24, 2022, 12:11:41 PM »

So probably the oddest thing about the new set-up on I-95 SB at the Rappahannock River was that it was actually viable for me to take I-95 SB from Fredericksburg to Richmond tonight.  One year ago I would have headed straight to the US 301/VA 2 corridor without much of a debate.
I still do it, since I always travel alone, and never had a need to use the HOT lane, even when it was just the HOV lane.
Logged

74/171FAN

  • *
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 3316
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Harrisburg, PA
  • Last Login: Today at 06:27:26 PM
Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1892 on: November 24, 2022, 12:23:51 PM »

So probably the oddest thing about the new set-up on I-95 SB at the Rappahannock River was that it was actually viable for me to take I-95 SB from Fredericksburg to Richmond tonight.  One year ago I would have headed straight to the US 301/VA 2 corridor without much of a debate.

Rush hour, but it was much worse with holiday traffic

So probably the oddest thing about the new set-up on I-95 SB at the Rappahannock River was that it was actually viable for me to take I-95 SB from Fredericksburg to Richmond tonight.  One year ago I would have headed straight to the US 301/VA 2 corridor without much of a debate.
I still do it, since I always travel alone, and never had a need to use the HOT lane, even when it was just the HOV lane.

The HOT Lanes do not play a factor south of Fredericksburg whatsoever because they will not be going south of there for the time being.  I usually get on I-95 SB at US 17 SB when going for time.

Of course, US 301/VA 2 mostly has very little traffic so there is that advantage with a 55 mph speed limit.


Logged
I am now a PennDOT employee.  My opinions/views do not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of PennDOT.

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.